Tucker Carlson fired after he got ‘too big for his boots,’ new book claims

The right-wing conspiracy theorist was dismissed in April despite his status as the most-watched cable TV personality

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Tuesday 31 October 2023 18:22 GMT
Tucker Carlson announces new show on Twitter

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Tucker Carlson was fired from Fox News after Rupert Murdoch felt he had gotten “too big for his boots”, and had alienated “large swathes” of the company, a new book has claimed.

Despite claiming to have enjoyed a close relationship with the media mogul and his son Lachlan Murdoch, Carlson was forced out over a litany of concerns, according to Brian Stelter, author of Network of Lies.

Carlson, a right-wing conspiracy theorist, was dismissed in April despite his status as the most-watched cable TV personality.

In an excerpt from the book, published in Vanity Fair, Stelter says that the “abrupt” firing with little explanation allowed conspiracy theories to “fester”.

There had been suggestions that the firing had been part of the multi-million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Fox had faced a defamation lawsuit for knowingly spreading lies about the results. Both Dominion and Fox denied this.

Carlson was also known for being liberal with his use of the word “c***” and was “titillated by misogyny,” according to sources interviewed by Mr Stelter.

The book claims that despite these controversies, there was “so much more” behind the reason to oust Carlson from the network.

“It wasn’t one thing. It was everything,” Stelter wrote.

Among the reasons given in the book are Carlson’s alleged creation of “strife with his conspiratorial commentaries”, his “delight” in offending key Fox executives and his “poisonous rhetoric”.

He also – Stelter wrote – “committed the cardinal Fox sin of acting like he was bigger than the network he was on”.

“It was a tale as old as TV. Stardom is a potent and often destructive drug. Icarus flew too close to the sun; he got his wings melted,” he wrote.

“Carlson flapped away, higher and higher, until one day the Murdochs just couldn’t tolerate his flapping anymore. ‘He got too big for his boots,’ Rupert told at least one confidant.”

Carlson has previously said that he had no issues with either Rupert or Lachlan Murdoch – saying that they were “always nice” and “never got in my way at all”.

He also previously stated on his new show Tucker on X, that ultimately, leaving Fox News had been for the best.

“Being humiliated in public, being fired… is totally good for you in the end,” he said. “It keeps you from thinking you’re Jesus.”

Not long after Fox removed Carlson from its primetime lineup, the network also fired his senior producer, Justin Wells.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in